Mediterranean mussel

Mytilus galloprovincialis

Common name:

Mediterranean mussel

Scientific name:

Mytilus galloprovincialis


The Mediterranean mussel inhabits the rocky shores of the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape.  Originating from the Mediterranean, these large smooth-shelled blue to black mussels, form dense beds on intertidal rocks displacing indigenous mussels and other small marine species. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?


    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA - Category 2.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Off the coast of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape

    Why is it a problem?

    The Mediterranean mussel forms dense beds on intertidal rocks, displacing indigenous mussels and other smaller species which inhabit the rocks.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Smooth-shelled, large dark blue to black mussels. Typically 50mm but can grow up to 120mm long. Habitat: The Mediterranean mussel inhabits marine, rock shores and intertidal areas. Breeding: Prolific broadcast spawners. Mediterranean mussels release millions of eggs at each spawning, fertilized eggs develop into larvae and are widely dispersed.